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Stalin gave Norway crabs

Posted by Thomas Nephew on February 12th, 2003

…and Norway might decide to keep them. According to the Asia Times (“Stalin’s red legacy: crabs“), supreme eco-engineer of the Soviet Union Josef Stalin ordered the transfer of a population of giant Kamchatka crabs from that region to the Barents Sea near Murmansk. The crabs thrived, and are making their way around the Scandinavian peninsula. Norwegian fishery officials are torn between preserving the original ecosystem (the crabs are probably feasting on fish eggs) and taking advantage of a lucrative new cash crop:

Although Norway’s cod stocks, for now, represent a far more valuable economic resource than the crabs, that could change in the future. Meat from the so-called Kamchatka crabs is a high-priced delicacy that can retail for $100 per kilo. With each individual crab weighing some 10 kilograms, it is easy to see how visions of a “crab-meat bonanza” are pushing some officials to call for viewing the maritime invaders as a precious resource to be managed – not suppressed.

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